Saturday, August 8, 2020

#457 : Mark May Band - Deep Dark Demon

 

2020 – Gulf Coast Records

By Phillip Smith; August 8, 2020

 

Deep Dark Demon, the seventh release from Mark May Band is a power-packed album of blues-rock featuring interesting original songs, soulful vocals and fierce guitar performances.  May, who cut his teeth in the Houston, Texas area playing biker bars and blues clubs for over twenty years, was also a member of Dickey Bett’s band for a while.  Killing it on lead vocals and lead guitar, he secures the front-man role of the band, which is also comprised of Billy Wells on vocals and rhythm guitar, Darrell Lacy on bass guitar, Brandon Jackson on drums for seven tracks, Geronimo Calderon on drums for four tracks, Barry Seelen on B3 for seven tracks, Shawn Allen on B3 for four tracks, and Al Pagliuso on percussion.  

The record rolls in a with “Harvey’s Dirty Side”, which boasts a heavy Allman Brothers meets Lenny Kravitz vibe.  Seelen’s beefy B3 riffs add a serious backup to May’s tantalizing guitar licks and mesmerizing style.  The relaxed pace on “BBQ and Blues” sets a perfect mood for a backyard cook-out abundantly stocked with coolers of ice-cold beer.  May bestows a Santana-esque flavor in”Back”.  This Latin-infused blues-rocker is an amazing listen.  May’s guitar prowess shines brightly on this masterpiece.

With Deep Dark Demon being recorded on Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records label, it’s a pleasure to hear Zito himself ripping it up on the title-track.  This slow-cooked number definitely brings the blues back home in style.  I love the dual lead guitar intro on “My Last Ride”.  May’s reflective lyrics and a driving rhythm are tremendous bookends for his stunning guitar-play.  The icing on the cake, “Invisible Man” brings the album to a fabulous close with a big bodacious bowl of eighties-style funk.  Although May’s soulful and debonair voice takes the front seat, I absolutely dig his use of the talk box on this track. 

Deep Dark Demon, satisfies on many levels.  It’s a terrific album through and through.       

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For more information about the artist, visit this website : markmay.com

 

 

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